Archive | April, 2002

How configurable is PHP ?

Posted on 30 April 2002 by Demian Turner

PHP probably holds the world record for the greatest number of autoconf flags in a single software package. At last count, it had 188 different configure switches. Freeping Creaturism? Not really — PHP is glue. It glues many different third-party libraries to the Web server, and it lets you control how many are glued in. Most PHP extensions can be built as standalone shared libraries that are loaded at runtime. Just add =shared after an extension switch, such as:


You will end up with a modules/ file that can be dynamically loaded using dl() directly from any PHP script. Or, you can add to php.ini, and the functions in that extension will be available to every script.

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Session autostart

Posted on 30 April 2002 by Demian Turner

The session.auto_start option lets you write session scripts that don’t even need to call session_start() at the beginning. This can be quite handy if all your pages are intended to be used with sessions.

To enable this either modify the ‘session.auto_start’ option in your php.ini or use ini_set()

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Astalavista Secure Hosting!

Posted on 29 April 2002 by Demian Turner

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Doing it with class: Using OOP in PHP

Posted on 29 April 2002 by Demian Turner

From the great series:

  • Approaches to programming
    • Procedural Programming
    • Object Oriented Programming
  • Classes and Objects
    • Attributes: class/object properties
    • Methods: Constructors and Destructors
    • Inheritance
    • Static classes and methods
    • Introspection
    • Persistent Objects
    • Magic OOP methods in PHP
  • Example: Access Control Lists
    • User, Group, ACL classes
  • Click here for the full article .

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    OO Email handling

    Posted on 29 April 2002 by Demian Turner

    Probably one of the most common things in websites and web applications is the sending of mail. Be it notification of simple events, or a fully-fledged webmail interface, at some point most applications will need to send mail. Thankfully, with PHP that is made a whole lot easier by the mail() function. This function enables you to send an email without the complexities of accessing an smtp server, or the unportable practice of using OS specific commands. However, sometimes there is a need for more abstraction than this function provides.

    This is where the mail sending classes come in. They enable you to abstract mail transport to a level where you’re not dependent on PHP functions. You can write new transport code and use it with only minimal changes to your application. This also helps you to respond quickly to changing demands on your code, supporting new formats, protocols or requirements with relative ease.

    Click here for the full article at

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    Write networked linux apps in Javascript – SashXB

    Posted on 22 April 2002 by Demian Turner

    SashXB is an open source application environment that exposes native functionality to JavaScript. It’s ideal for web developers with HTML and JS skills who want to write full-featured native applications, as well as experienced programmers who’d appreciate the convenience of rapid application development. It uses a host of other open source projects, including Mozilla, GNOME, Glade, and Gdome.

    Click here for the full story.

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    Linux in developing countries

    Posted on 22 April 2002 by Demian Turner

    It was almost three years ago that Dr. Sugara Mitra, head of NIIT’s Centre for Research on Cognitive Systems, began quietly to put internet kiosks where kids hang out in the poorest parts of New Delhi. The effort, titled “Hole in the Wall”, was an experiment in “minimally invasive education”, a concept that offers this affront to the base assumptions of formal education: “that in the absence of any directed input, any learning environment that provides an adequate level of curiosity can cause learning.”

    For full article click here.

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    Using Objects to Create an Application

    Posted on 01 April 2002 by Demian Turner

    Abstraction. If you’ve taken Computer Science, or have been around a Computer Scientist for any amount of time, you have probably heard the term “Abstraction” enough times to drive you crazy. Why so much the emphasis on Abstraction? Because without Abstraction, it would be nearly impossible to do anything with computers.

    Consider a cool video game like Final Fantasy X, or any other. It is probably written in some higher level language like C, C++, or even Java. Most likely graphics and editing tools have been be used, which are written in a higher level language. The C files are compiled by a C compiler into Assembler. An assembler is run on the assembly code to produce native machine language.

    Is that all? No! The machine language is run and implemented by the datapath, which contains registers, logical and arithmetic units, and links to memory. The components of the datapath, are composed of gates: And gates, Or gates, Nand gates, Nor Gates, inverters (or Not Gates), and more. The gates are composed of switches and wire. Underneath the switches and wire, is the underlying physics, electron flow, inductance, etc.

    Now could you write Final Fantasy X:

    • In Assembler?
    • In Machine Code?
    • Entirely Using Gates?
    • Entirely using switches and wire?

    I don’t think so. This is a pretty decent example of a case where Abstraction is essential. In fact not only could you not make FFX using only switches and wire, I doubt you could make a fully functional datapath using only switches and wire (no gates, MUXES, ALUs, etc).

    There are also many cases where Abstraction is essential, but makes the task much easier, such as generating a decent PHP web application.

    Click here for full article.

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